SunTrust Drops Monthly Debit Card Fee

With banks taking more and more heat from the banking public — and oodles of people reportedly switching accounts to more consumer-friendly credit unions — SunTrust announced today that it is eliminating the monthly debit card fee for Everyday Checking and will be refunding that fee to customers who have already paid.

“We believe banking is a relationship business and recognize the importance of responding to client preferences,” said Brad Dinsmore, Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management executive at SunTrust. “We’ve listened to our clients’ feedback and will provide the convenience and security of check cards at no additional charge as part of all of our checking accounts.”

The bank says that customers who are eligible for the refund will be automatically credited for it within the next 30 days.

“It’s time for Bank of America to join other major banks and drop its plan to charge a monthly debit card fee,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program. “For many consumers, the Bank of America debit card fee was the last straw. They’re fed up with banks that got billions of dollars in bailouts that are now sticking customers with new fees. Many are moving their money to credit unions and banks that don’t charge debit card fees. We think that will add a healthy dose of competition to the banking business that will benefit consumers in the long run.”

The SunTrust announcement comes on the heels of Chase’s decision to drop its plan to charge a $3 fee to debit card users.

For more on debit card fees and how you can avoid them by switching to a new financial institution, check out Consumers Union’s DefendYourDollars.org

SunTrust Responds to Client Feedback, Eliminates Check Card Fee [SunTrust.com]